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Development Sociology

Field Description

The Ph.D. program emphasizes community, regional, and state organizations, as well as the world system and development processes in these contexts. The program offers preparation for research, for the application of sociology in public-service work, for development work in the United States and other countries, and for college teaching in sociology, rural sociology, and related fields.

For the Ph.D. degree, students are expected to demonstrate (1) a thorough knowledge of social theory, with special emphasis on theories in their major concentration, (2) knowledge of previous and current research pertinent to the concentration, and (3) knowledge of multiple research methods, with special emphasis on research design, data collection, and analytical techniques relevant to study in the concentration.

Most students are admitted into the M.S./Ph.D. program, unless they have submitted a previous Master's thesis for approval by the department. Although the field awards an M.S. degree, it is expected that students earning the M.S. degree will pursue the Ph.D. degree. The M.S. degree offer a thesis or a papers-based option.

Research and study opportunities
Faculty in the field rely on a wide range of domestic and international funding to support research and graduate students. Some field members use New York State Agricultural Experiment Station funding to support studies of sustainable agricultural practices; small-town growth and decline; employment trends in non-metropolitan areas; the social organization of agriculture; multi-county and regional development; environmental problems; and the social impact of advanced agricultural techniques.

Research abroad includes studies of small-farmer agriculture in the context of globalization, processes of village and regional development, political ecology, and social demography. Students and faculty members are actively conducting research in South America, Latin America, China, Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Many of these studies deal with the relationship of agricultural production to social organization, the conditions of growth (and marginalization) for communities and regions, and the relation of demographic trends to all of those.

Members of the field also participate in International Agriculture programs, in the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and in the area studies programs for Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Several of those programs have supported dissertation research overseas. The department is also home to the Polson Institute for Global Development, which funds assorted working group research initiatives in the U.S. and abroad.

Although most doctoral dissertations are based on field-collected data, the field and the university have rich secondary-data resources for the study of New York State and the United States, located in the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER) and the various libraries on campus.


Contact Information

Website: http://devsoc.cals.cornell.edu
Email: devsoc@cornell.edu
Phone: 607 255-3092

240 Warren Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

Development Sociology

  • development sociology (minor)
  • methods of social research (minor)
  • population and development
  • rural and environmental sociology
  • state, economy, and society

Faculty

Alaka Basu - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; population and development Research Interests: population studies; reproductive health and family planning; gender development; child health and mortality; culture and demographic behavior
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; methods of social research; rural and environmental sociology
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; methods of social research; population and development; state, economy, and society Research Interests: population and development; sociology of education; demography of inequality and social change
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; methods of social research; rural and environmental sociology Research Interests: geographic information systems; research methods; statistics; local economic development; food systems
Elias Friedman - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: state, economy, and society Research Interests: Social movements, globalization, development, political sociology, work, and theory
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; rural and environmental sociology Research Interests: environmental sociology; property theory; political sociology; social ecology of welfare and terrorism
Gilbert W. Gillespie - (Ithaca) - (Graduate School Professor)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; rural and environmental sociology Research Interests: rural and environmental sociology; community and regional sociology; sociology of agriculture and food systems
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; methods of social research; rural and environmental sociology Research Interests: political ecology; critical development studies; ecological history; science and technology studies; food and agriculture; Southeast Asia
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; state, economy, and society Research Interests: American Indian ethnicity and identity; nationalism and tribal sovereignty; comparative race and ethnic relations in the United States
Douglas T. Gurak - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; population and development Research Interests: population and development; migration; health and mortality; ethnic stratification
Matthew Hall - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; population and development Research Interests: demography, immigration, segregation, housing, and racial/ethnic inequality
Thomas A Hirschl - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; methods of social research; population and development; state, economy, and society Research Interests: social stratification; research methods and statistics; state and local demography
Lori Leonard - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: methods of social research; state, economy, and society Research Interests: Lori Leonard has a background in public health, and her work focuses on issues in medical sociology, gender studies, and the anthropology of policy. She is interested in the ways policies, planned improvement projects, changes in the natural world, and human responses to these events shape social and cultural life
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; population and development; rural and environmental sociology Research Interests: welfare incentives on the family; assortative mating; children's changing living arrangements; poverty; new destinations of immigrants to America
Fouad M. Makki - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; methods of social research; state, economy, and society Research Interests: sociology of development; classical and contemporary social theory; international political economy; historical sociology of modernity
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; methods of social research; rural and environmental sociology; state, economy, and society Research Interests: political sociology; sociology of development; comparative-historical methods; international political economy
Scott J Peters - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: methods of social research; state, economy, and society Research Interests: sustainable and community development; civic professionalism
Max John Pfeffer - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; population and development; rural and environmental sociology; state, economy, and society Research Interests: environmental sociology; rural development; sociology of labor markets; ethnicity and immigration
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; population and development Research Interests: social demography; union formation (marriage, cohabitation); immigrant adaptation; racial and ethnic differentiation; young adult transitions
John W. Sipple - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; methods of social research; population and development; rural and environmental sociology Research Interests: sociology of education, rural studies, inequality studies
Jeffery Sobal - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; population and development Research Interests: sociology of food, nutrition, and body weight; food systems
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; rural and environmental sociology Research Interests: linkages between social and ecological systems; natural resource and community interactions; natural resources; environmental sociology
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; state, economy, and society Research Interests: community development, economic development, state and local government policy
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; methods of social research; population and development; rural and environmental sociology Research Interests: family sociology; population and development in Southeast Asia; gender; life-course; research methods
Steven A Wolf - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; rural and environmental sociology; state, economy, and society Research Interests: environmental and natural resource sociology; environmental governance; multifunctional agricultural and forest development; institutional analysis of innovation
Wendy W. Wolford - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; methods of social research; rural and environmental sociology; state, economy, and society Research Interests: political economy of development; social and economic geography; political ecology; land tenure; agrarian studies
Concentrations: Development Sociology: development sociology; rural and environmental sociology Research Interests: Environmental Sociology, Development and Globalization, Contemporary China, Rural Livelihoods, Community, Agriculture, Land Use Change, Qualitative Methods, Spatial Data Analysis, Mixed Methods